A lot has been said in recent months about the conditions under which iPhones are made, and very little of that dialogue has been good. Sometimes humanity’s visions leapfrog far beyond what can actually be built safely, effectively, and fairly. That may be why Foxconn, the plant that assembles Apple’s products, is having trouble meeting demand for the iPhone 5. According to one Foxconn executive, the iPhone 5 is the ‘most difficult device’ the company has ever tackled on the assembly line.
“The iPhone 5 is the most difficult device that Foxconn has ever assembled,” the executive told the Wall Street Journal. “To make it light and thin, the design is very complicated. It takes time to learn how to make this new device. Practice makes perfect. Our productivity has been improving day by day.”
Foxconn has been accused of forcing its employees to work in substandard conditions to assemble electronics, most notably iOS devices (though its clientele also includes HP, Dell, and Nintendo). Some Westerners claim to have seen a gentler side of Foxconn, though the giant most recently got into trouble for allegedly hiring interns as young as 14 years old.
Either way, Foxconn and Apple have run into snags while trying to present the lightweight, seemingly futuristic iPhone 5. The pressure ignited arguments between workers and quality control inspectors, and was part of the cause of a brief strike earlier in the month.